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SUrveying the Walking City Trail

The Boston Birding Festival is excited to partner with the WCT to bring greater attention to Boston’s urban green space and advocate for conservation and greater access to parks and nature.

Simply by birding the trail and sharing your observations, you can help create more awareness of important outdoor corridors and encourage greater access to and protection for green space in the city. The data you collect will help shape urban planning decisions, increase and direct conservation efforts toward neighborhoods that have been neglected, and contribute to a better understanding of Boston’s urban ecology.

Boston City Counselor Kendra Lara taking an ensemble selfie on a community WCT hike. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WCT)

About the Trail

The Walking City Trail is a 27-mile hiking path through some of Boston’s parks, urban wilds, gardens, and neighborhoods. The trail connects 17 diverse Boston neighborhoods from the Neponset River Reservation to the Bunker Hill Monument.

Originally imagined by Miles Howard, journalist and hiking guidebook author, the trail has quickly become a local favorite. Guided section hikes along the trail, co-organized with Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara  and Mothers Out Front sparked ideas for how the “WCT” could be expanded to include even more immersive green (and blue) spaces.

Two of the earliest WCT group hikers, Matthew Broude and Jules Murdza stepped up as fellow trail builders. In 2023, the Walking City Trail route was finalized.

Learn more about the Walking City Trail at https://www.bostontrails.org

HOW TO GET INVOLVED​

There are several ways to participate:

1. If you are a beginner birder, join one of the Boston Birding Festival’s  organized Walking City Trail Bird Walks. We’ll post the schedule with target trail segments here soon, or sign up for email.

2. Join one of the WCT’s walks and bird while hiking, then send us your list. You must also register in advance for a WCT walk.

3. Lead your own walk with your own group or bird club, family, class, book club, scout troop, church group, office, etc., and share your list with us (info below). If you need assistance, we can usually find a volunteer for you.

4. Walk a section of the trail on your own or with friends and share your observations with us. You can use our spreadsheet (sign up here first and we’ll send you a link) or you can email us a spreadsheet of your own and we’ll combine your data with the group data. If you can also share photos, that would be fantastic. Email reports to hello@bostonbirdingfestival.org and put WCT in the subject line. Thank you.

5. Volunteer to lead a bird survey yourself along a segment of the train, or to be one of this project’s administrators.

 Using community data, WCT is planning to publish a checklist sometime in 2026. Thank you!

WCTLogo

Sign up to be notified of organized walks and get updates on this project.

WANT TO SPONSOR A WALK?

Is your business or organization interested in sponsoring a WCT survey walk? Your support provides funding for walk leaders!.
A lush green woodland trail

SHERRIN WOODS in Hyde Park, Part of tHE WTC. PHOTO BY

Ducks on a pond

DUCKS ON JAMAICA POND. PHOTO BY , Creative Commons

SUBMIT YOUR LIST FOR THE PROJECT

Want tips on being a good surveyor? We’ve got you covered.  [LINK]

PS, yes, please report dead birds–see this other project. [LINK]

Download a copy of a list of Massachsetts birds. Here’s ours if you need one. [LINK]

Did you complete a walk? Share your data using this form. Submit this form with your checklist to add your data to the project. [LINK]

Or, if you are an eBird user, simply  share your list with BosBirdFest and we’ll compile it.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Arnold Arboretum, PHOTO BY

Want to get email updates on this project’s progress? Or assist in organizing this project? Sign up for email above.

Thank you!

We’ll send a confirmation and let you know in advance when the next walk is scheduled in your area. Thank you!

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